Major but differential decline in the incidence of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia in HIV-infected individuals from 1995 to 2007: a nationwide cohort study


  • *The results of this study have been presented in part as an abstract and poster at 50th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) 2010, Boston, USA (Presentation number H-235).

Dr Mette Vang Larsen, Department of Infectious Diseases, Hvidovre University Hospital, Kettegaard Alle 30, DK-2650 Hvidovre, Denmark. Tel: +45 3862 3016; fax: +45 3862 3405; e-mail:



Incidence rates (IRs) of Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia (SAB) are known to be higher in HIV-infected individuals than in the general population, but have not been assessed in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy.


From 1 January 1995 to 31 December 2007, all Danish HIV-infected individuals (n=4871) and population controls (n=92 116) matched on age and sex were enrolled in a cohort and all cases of SAB were registered. IRs and risk factors were estimated using time-updated Poisson regression analysis.


We identified 329 cases of SAB in 284 individuals, of whom 132 individuals were infected with HIV and 152 were not [crude IR ratio (IRR) 24.2; 95% confidence interval (CI) 19.5–30.0, for HIV-infected vs. non-HIV-infected individuals]. Over time, IR declined for HIV-infected individuals (IRR 0.40). Injecting drug users (IDUs) had the highest incidence and the smallest decline in IR, while men who have sex with men (MSM) had the largest decline over time. Among HIV-infected individuals, a latest CD4 count <100 cells/μL was the strongest independent predictor of SAB (IRR 10.2). Additionally, HIV transmission group was associated with risk of SAB. MSM were more likely to have hospital-acquired SAB, a low CD4 cell count and AIDS at the time of HIV acquisition compared with IDUs.


We found that the incidence of SAB among HIV-infected individuals declined during the study period, but remained higher than that among HIV-uninfected individuals. There was an unevenly distributed burden of SAB among HIV transmission groups (IDU>MSM). Low CD4 cell count and IDU were strong predictors of SAB among HIV-infected individuals.